I outed my fertility problems to a friend of mine at work this morning. I wasn’t meaning to; we were having a serious closed-door discussion of our options on whether to stay or go from our positions (he will be finishing his PhD in a few semesters). Somehow things came around to children and how his are impacting his decision, and I ended up telling him what was going on since it will directly impact my ability to stay or leave.
I kid you not, he managed to get in the whole trifecta of assvice in about 20 minutes: you can always adopt, it’s in God’s time, and it will happen for you.
But he counterbalanced it by at the same time: asking if I had seen a doctor, asking if Manly had been tested, and asking if they knew what the problem was.
This is a man who’s not-quite-old-enough to be my father. He has friends who dealt with primary IF (2 years) and secondary IF (11 years), even though he and his wife did not. And I think that’s why the assvice didn’t bother me. I knew he truly cared about me and truly believed what he was saying; it wasn’t a throw-away “I’m uncomfortable and want to change the subject” response. I’m really glad I told him, because now I think he’ll be able to help me make a better decision in a few months on where to go. And now if I do get pg, I won’t have to hide the fact from him.
I think the whole conversation managed to prove one giant thing for me: it’s not necessarily the words that someone uses, but their motivation behind the response that matters. Sure, I could go back and do some IF-education with him, but I don’t feel like I have to. In the future, I know I could have a frank discussion with him about my options if I needed to, and that’s what really made me feel better. The empathy and acceptance that I have a problem, and it’s causing me pain. Why can’t all fertiles be like that?